Google Maps to get sneaky new feature that hides your travel activity


If you’re ever worried about your friends constantly checking your location in the same way they check what you’re listening to on Spotify (yes, I’m okay, please stop asking), Google has got you covered.

The company announced in a blog post on Tuesday that it’s updating Google Maps to give users more control over their privacy.

The blue dot on Google Maps, which indicates a user’s location, will now offer quick access to key location controls. Users can easily check if their Location History or Timeline settings are on —and whether Maps has access to their device’s location.

Image from Google showing a prompt telling a user that their Google Maps data is being saved locally on their device

Credit: Google

A image from Google showing a user a prompt that they can backup their locatin data on the cloud

Credit: Google

Additionally, the information saved from the Timeline feature will be directly stored on users’ devices instead of the cloud. This feature is great for helping people remember locations they’ve visited — and only applies to users who allow Location History to be on (it’s off by default).

And, if you so desire, you can delete any part of this information or disable the setting entirely. There’s also a new auto-delete setting for those who want to minimize their digital footprint. Auto-delete now defaults to three months (down from 18 months) and lets users manage how long their location data is stored.

According to Google, users will receive notifications when these updates are available as the company rolls them out over the next year.

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